VISn4001 European Governance and Multilevel Politics

Faculty of Social Studies
Spring 2024
Extent and Intensity
1/1/0. 8 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
prof. PhDr. Petr Kaniok, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Mgr. et Mgr. Veronika Velička Zapletalová, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. PhDr. Petr Kaniok, Ph.D.
Department of International Relations and European Studies – Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Olga Cídlová, DiS.
Supplier department: Department of International Relations and European Studies – Faculty of Social Studies
Mon 19. 2. 16:00–17:40 P52, Mon 26. 2. 16:00–17:40 P52, Mon 4. 3. 16:00–17:40 P52, Mon 11. 3. 16:00–17:40 P52, Mon 18. 3. 16:00–17:40 U32, Mon 25. 3. 16:00–17:40 P52, Mon 8. 4. 16:00–17:40 P52, Mon 15. 4. 16:00–17:40 P52, Mon 22. 4. 16:00–17:40 P52, Mon 29. 4. 16:00–17:40 P52, Mon 6. 5. 16:00–17:40 P52
Ability to read and speak English.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The aim of the course is to introduce students to the issues of governance and especially multilevel governance in the contemporary European Union. The course is composed of two parts. The first part deals with general concepts of governance, multilevel politics and multilevel governance, regionalism, and Europeanization of domestic politics. The changing nature of the state in the post-Westphalia era is discussed as well. In the second part of the course, these general concepts and notions are demonstrated in the example of the European Union. The EU will be presented as a specific political system combining features of both a traditional state and an international organization and increasingly as a polity, in which processes of traditional government are complemented by networks and processes of governance working in specific multilevel settings. The students will become familiar with all three dimensions of the EU political system – polity, politics, and policy.
Learning outcomes
At the end of the course students should acquire solid command of relevant theories of Governance and comprehensive understanding of the notion of multilevel governance as a theoretical concept and especially as a model describing reality of contemporary European Union political processes. They should also understand the role of different political institutions of the EU as well as role of important actors operating at different levels of the EU multilayered political system. Student should possess basic skills and competences to analyze contemporary European politics.
  • 1. Introductory session – The changing role and nature of the state in Europe
  • 2. Changing perspective from government to governance
  • 3. Multilevel governance – a concept
  • 4. Multilevel governance inside the state – European federalism and regionalism
  • 5. Modes of governance in contemporary EU
  • 6. Europeanization as an impact of multilevel politics
  • 7. The EU as a political system – a theoretical perspective
  • 8. The EU as a political system – how to analyze the EU (system theory, policy networks, policy arenas etc.)
  • 9. The EU as a political system – the making of EU policies
  • 10. The EU as a political system – pressure groups and political parties as vital actors of EU politics
  • 11. Democratic deficit issue
  • 12. Modes of governance in contemporary European countries (Dutch-Czech comparative seminar)
    required literature
  • Christiansen, T. 2019. Governance in the European Union. In: European Union Politics. Cini, M.; Borragán Pérez-Solórzano, N. (Ed.). New York: Oxford University Press, 102 – 114.
  • Kelemen, D. R. 2017. Europe’s Other Democratic Deficit: National Authoritarianism in Europe’s Democratic Union. Government and Opposition 52:2, 211-238.
  • Reh, C. 2009. The Lisbon Treaty: De-Constitutionalizing the European Union? Journal of Common Market Studies 47:3, 625-650.
  • Pollack, M. A. 2005. Theorizing the European Union: International Organization, Domestic Polity, or Experiment in New Governance? Annual Review of Political Science 8: 358-397.
  • Börzel, T.A.; Risse, T. 2018. From the euro to the Schengen crises: European integration theories, politicization, and identity politics, Journal of European Public Policy, 25:1, 83-108.
  • Wallace, H.; Pollack, M. A., Roederer-Rynning, C. and Young, A. R. 2020. Policy-Making in the European Union. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 68-105.
  • Hooghe, L. and Marks, G. 2009. A Postfunctionalist Theory of European Integration: From Permissive Consensus to Constraining. British Journal of Political Science 39: 1, 1-23.
  • HIX, Simon and Bjørn Kåre HØYLAND. The political system of the European union. Fourth edition. London: Bloomsbury academic, 2022, xiii, 434. ISBN 9781350325470. info
  • SAURUGGER, Sabine. Theoretical approaches to European integration. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, x, 294. ISBN 9780230251434. info
  • Research agendas in EU studies : stalking the elephant. Edited by Michelle P. Egan - Neill Nugent - William E. Paterson. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, xvi, 430. ISBN 9780230555259. info
Teaching methods
The course consists of lectures combines with seminars including class discussion. Homework position papers related to assigned readings are also part of the workload. Students are divided into small groups in which they carry on their position papers during the whole term. The number of groups as well as their composition depends on the overall number of students enrolled in the course. However, the groups will be settled in the first week of the course and their composition will be fixed during the entire term. Students are responsible for distribution of the work within the group; their performance will be evaluated on the groups’ basis, not on their individual approach or contribution! Each lecture is accompanied by compulsory reading whose knowledge is necessary both for active participation in class discussion and for the written exam; moreover, students are encouraged to acquire further relevant academic articles, chapters in books etc. when preparing their position papers.
Assessment methods
The final written test will be composed of 4 large open questions.
Language of instruction
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught annually.
The course is also listed under the following terms Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022, Spring 2023.
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